GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

January 22, 2013

Letter: Fuller's best use remains as a school

To the editor:

This is an open letter to the mayor, City Council, and School Committee:

Since the Fuller “school” option was taken away from voter referendum, it is time for this local taxpayer to stand up and support the reuse of Fuller as a city school.

Fuller School has large classrooms, a real library, real cafeteria, real gym, real music room, an art room, computer lab, a real auditorium and they are all really nice! Fuller stands alone with highest of quality construction and unmatched facility features.

My support for the school is built on real memories, experiences, activities and opportunities afforded to previous students like myself that are specific to facility advantages the Fuller complex offers its students and community not found in any other elementary school.

We were informed recently it would cost $44,000 more annually to provide the same service as a combined Beeman and Veterans, for example. But if we are citing exaples for consoliodation, West Parish should be automatically be considered in any such plans.

Maybe we should combine the two largest, two oldest, or two most inefficient schools? In its present condition, Fuller is admittedly inefficient, but so aren’t the other elementary schools. Should we throw them all away, too?

There are significant cost implications of dumping Fuller. There’s moving the pre-school, the administration offices, and the transportation department. Money to renovate, to build, to move, and to maintain spaces for those departments that we don’t have.

If we had extra space, it would stand to reason those departments would be moved by now, and the city wouldn’t be spending almost $100,000 annually for city hall annex space, and $3.5 million would not have been spent on modular classroom space. By the way, what are we going to do with those modular classrooms in 8 years when their rated life expectancy of 12 years is reached?

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